Sunday, June 12, 2016

Week in Review

70 Miles
12M with 5 x mile repeats in 536, 535, 528, 531, 527 with 60s jog rest
16M at 633 pace average, ending in 548
1 Climbing Session
1 new friend!

Another solid, solid week in the books! I'm so excited that I texted coach to tell him about my long run on Saturday. That is a very rare thing for me to do.  I am fit.  I need to race.  There's nothing else to be said.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week in Review

75 Miles
12M with 4M tempo via 544, 541, 539, 534 and then 800m jog rest for 5 x 1 minutes in 502 - 516 pace
9M with 2 x mile of 30s on off with mile splits of 543/542 with 800m jog rest
17M long run at 654 average
0 days off
1 new friend!
1 rock climbing session

Whew, looking back on this week, I feel somewhat exhausted knowing what I accomplished.  Yet the odd thing is that I feel completely energized.  I haven't felt this good since the summer of 2005, before I headed back to Wake for my sophomore year.  I firmly believe that my latest running fitness mainly is due to 1) injury and time off during the months of October - January, 2) the ridiculously good (read: low humidity) weather, and 3) unintended weight loss.  I'm slowly building up my crew of guys to run with by stalking strava and it has proven so successful! I've met Ted, who lives less than half a mile from my house, and then also Tom, who will certainly start hitting some massive PRs if he continues running long with me.  I'm so impressed with these folks and I hope that we can continue to push each other to achieve goals together.  I've also done my last two long runs with Heather, which has been such fun since we've gone through similar life situations over the last couple of years.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week in Review

64 miles
10M with 2 x 2 miles at 544, 537, 2:00 jog rest, 535, 537
16.2M long run at 651 average
1 day off
2 rock climbing sessions

This week marked the first week that I've had a formal training plan from Coach T-bone in a long, long time.  And every moment was wonderful.  I don't know if it's because I unintentionally lost 7 pounds or if it's because I really haven't trained hard since August of last year, but I'm feeling like a badass.  I'm itching to race and to test my fitness, but I'm being patient.  I nailed the 2 x 2 mile workout, by hitting much faster paces than Terry prescribed on the plan. AND I was solo.  From previous posts, you should know that I'm a freaking baby when it comes to working out solo, but I've apparently found a new strength.  Probably because of my new life perspective - take risks, enjoy life and be happy!

Before the long holiday weekend fully kicked off, I got in 16 miles with Heather on Canada Road.  I loved every part except 1) running over what may have been a rattle snake and 2) the lack of shade.  But the course was great, with slightly rolling hills and then tons of cyclists with really nice, muscular calves for me to admire for a split second as they whizzed past me.  Overall, I wanted to get a few more miles in this week, but I decided to take off one day because I was starting to feel a tickle in my throat and because I wanted to rock climb with my new friend Armon.  All is well in the world as long as I'm making healthy choices that keep me happy. And I was damn happy taking that day off.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week in Review

66 miles
11.5M with 10 x 90s on / off
15 mile long run with 5 miles in 617, 607, 619, 615, 608, 1.5M rest in 6:40 pace, 3 miles in 601, 554, 601, 535
1 lift day
1 rock climbing session
0 days off

Another successful week down in the books, but with a couple of hiccups along the way.  First, Jenna and I ran a workout together on Tuesday and it went great.  Then I drove home, and right before I pulled into my apartment complex, a guy in his car plowed straight into my car and broadsided me.  It was scary because 1) I had the right of way and looked up to unexpectedly find a car coming straight for my door and 2) I didn't want the side airbag to go off so I tried to avoid as bad of a collision by positioning my car so he would hit closer to my rear passenger door.   Fortunately, I wasn't hurt and my side air bag didn't go off! And, the guy (my neighbor), was super helpful and accommodating.  He was willing to accept responsibility and he called his insurance immediately to get the process going.

Then, later that week, again during a long run workout with Jenna, we were flagged down by a woman walking.  We are assholes, so we obviously were not going to stop since we were in the middle of a tempo mile, even after she asked us if we had a phone.  Then she said: "There's a dead body over there." And we immediately stopped. Did I feel guilty? YES.  She told us where the body was, that she didn't suspect foul play and that it was likely a homeless man. I couldn't help but think well at least he died in a very peaceful place, with lots of sounds of nature, water and birds surrounding him.  It was a weird way to start the day, especially after we ran past the body on the bench.   It definitely made me feel grateful for the food and shelter that I take for granted every single day.

The rest of the weekend was spent with Liz.  We got in some miles together, spent time in the city with our Wake Forest teammates and went to quite possibly one of the worst live DJ shows ever at Love and Propaganda.  Regardless, it gave us a great story to tell later and to cherish forever.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

(Duke Graduation) Week in Review

65 Miles
Workout 1:  10 miles total with 4.25M of 13 x 1 min on/off with mile splits of 602, 558, 555, 545, 521 for the last .25M
15M long run in Durham
4 days in Durham

I'm finally starting up my week in review again! This is a new day, a new leaf, a new CAITLIN!  To bring you up to speed, I've run 60 miles the past 2-3 weeks, so this was the first time that I've cracked any mileage over 60 in a very, very long time.  I also made the decision to not follow any formal training plan.  Instead, I decided to use the last couple of weeks to run with Jenna, who is training for the Grandma's Marathon.  It's been a perfect way for us to get to know each other better and for me to get into shape again.

This week, I front-loaded my mileage by taking advantage of having Meagan in town - we did 30+ miles in 3 days without any doubles. If I get a chance to train again with my favorite Olympic Trials race buddy, then I'm going to capitalize on the opportunity.  We enjoyed an awesome minuters workout together, which is one very difficult way to still run a tempo. I purposely kept the jog rest at a medium effort (around 640-650 pace) so that I could keep the overall mile splits around 6:00.  This was the first real workout where I realized that I'm in pretty damn good shape. I'm finally starting to get excited about racing again. I haven't had a good race since April of 2015, and I'm chomping at the bit to cross a finish line feeling strong and confident.

The rest of the week was spent in Durham, NC, where I walked across the stage to earn a degree from the number one business school in the country (at least from last year's rankings!).  I couldn't be more proud of my classmates for all that we accomplished.  16 months, 5 countries, 100s of hours of class, 90,000 airline miles, 105 new friends, 16 different courses, 3 sicknesses, and the list goes on.  In between graduation festivities, I spent time with my mom and dad who have been my foundation ever since they brought me into this world.  They taught me how to dream big, run fast and achieve goals.  My friends Danielle and Chad even drove in to watch me cross the stage, so in between catching up with my classmates, I was able to get the most out of my Duke tuition dollars by inviting D & C to the luncheon where they could eat/drink as much as possible at the seafood and liquor bars.

Of course, the weekend would not have been complete without a run with my favorite Durham boys, who have helped me in so many ways beyond just my own training.  They have picked up stuff from my old porch, stored my random boxes and supported me when my life was turned upside down.  Getting in 15 miles with them in the disgusting NC humidity was memorable, even if I mostly just recall the squishy shoes that Alan and I rocked the entire run.

As much as I enjoyed my time in NC, I'm ready to get back to CA to continue meeting new people and soaking in that California sunshine.

Dad and I enjoyed a walk on Saturday
I had the honor of speaking at graduation!

Duke Fuqua CCMBA Class of 2015

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I'm baaack!

Well, that was a long, long hiatus.  It's been more than three months that I've written and I'm disappointed in myself...even though I know that only Kishor and my mom have been checking back at my site to see if I've updated.

What's happened in the last three months?  Well, I toed the start line of my second Olympic Trials Marathon.  I didn't finish, but I outlined the reasons why here in advance of the race.  Instead, I ran 9 miles in blistering heat at around 6:10-6:15 pace with just under 4 weeks of solid training under my belt.  I was damn proud.  There's a lot more to say on that topic, but I'll save that for another day.

After that, I went to Kauai with my family and best friends.  We hiked, fell in rivers, got our feet muddy, crashed every single resort pool in Poipu, tanned, sang (terribly) to Disney classics, laughed deep belly laughs and ate entirely too much.

And then my life changed. At first, I was terrified and worried, because the future I felt I had a strong hold on, suddenly just slipped through my fingers, right in front of my eyes.  But there's been a reason for my absence.  I needed time to discover that not having any idea what my "future" looks like is one of the greatest gifts life awards us.  In reading The Alchemist, it helped me begin my quest to realize my Personal Legend.  I am finding that anything is possible, it's okay to dream and to yearn for every single thing I would like to see happen to me in my life.  This is how I am taking one step forward, every single day.  I have no ties to anything except the people who care deeply for me and I will march forward with them by my side, both spiritually and physically.

I'll go into more detail later, because I think it's important, but now is not the time.  Currently, my focus has been on building those friendships that I had neglected here in the Bay Area. I want to create a new West Coast family of friends so that I have a solid foundation and community to keep me strong.  Running is obviously a start, but I also want to expand my social circles to others as well, so I joined a rock climbing gym, went to some meetups and frequent the city much more often.  I finally started living out my life in the West, and the first four weeks have been more than I could have ever asked for.

And for this, I am grateful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A 9-5er, non-contender, non-finisher heading to the Olympic Trials!

noun | nine·two·fiv·er
: a person who works 9 to 5

noun | non·con·ten·der
: a person who has no chance of winning in a contest

noun | non·fin·ish·er
: a person who starts something but does not finish it

Why, yes, I'm toeing the start line at my second Olympic Trials marathon.  But, there's a catch.

If you read the headline closely enough, you'll realize that I don't plan on crossing the finish line of the (second) most important race of my life.  Gulp.

Don't worry, I've come to terms with my predicament because I still have the privilege to toe the line alongside our country's best distance runners. Numerous people have had to drop out from the race, which is especially difficult for those professional runners whose entire livelihood depends on one major marathon a year, and, every four years, a hope for an Olympic berth.  Fortunately for me, running is not my career nor does my paycheck depend on my race performance.  As a non-contender, I never had the chance to make the Olympic team, but I do have the opportunity to pursue big dreams and to push myself to new limits.  The Olympic Trials marathon allows me to toe the line and compete with so many talented women who have poured countless miles, energy and mental stamina into this one endeavor.  It's an opportunity that merely puts us all on the big stage together, so that we can achieve our dreams one mile at time, side-by-side.

Unfortunately for me, I've battled a calf strain and an achilles issue since October 9th.  In the sixteen weeks leading up to the Trials, I envisioned:

  • 12 weeks of 85+ miles per week
  • 24 unique workouts
  • Four 22+ miles long runs

Nope.  Instead, this is what happened:

  • 44 consecutive days off from late November to early January
  • 5 weeks of running, at an average of 25 miles per week
  • 3 unique workouts
  • 8 miles longest run

Spent a lot of time with needles in me
You don't need any more information to understand why I'm not finishing the race.  It's too risky; it's practically delusional. Tendon injuries are fickle and unpredictable.  They could come back at anytime, and you don't know how long they'll bug you for.  So, I'm not finishing and that's that.

But the good news? I still get to toe the start line, run side-by-side with Meagan and help her achieve her goals. Because on Saturday, Meagan's goals will become mine.  My purpose is to make her race be as great as it can possibly be.  Because I'm by her side, providing encouragement, water and Gatorade, maybe even a wind block if necessary, I will take some of her stress away.

So on Saturday, I will toe the line and then I will gracefully bow out of the race when it seems necessary.  I have the honor to run a couple of miles, while my friends and family cheer loudly not only from the sidelines in LA, but also 3000 miles away from the comfort of their own homes, watching on NBC or tracking on their phones.  In that moment, I will feel the tremendous love and support from everyone who made it possible for me be there.  I am so grateful to have such a powerful support group.

And, damn, I definitely wouldn't have been able to toe that start line without the help of so many people:
A huge thanks to all of the people above.  They helped me believe when it mattered most, when my doubts were biggest.  They inspired me to believe I would start at the Trials.

Finally, some helpful information on the Trials coverage.

How to Watch the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon on NBC

Guide to the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon